CHARTA/INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Essay by Steven Stern.
Back in the twentieth century, in 1999, when Tim Gardner was a graduate student at Columbia University's art program, photographer Collier Schorr, then a visiting artist, recommended that her New York gallery take a look at his work. 303 Gallery signed him and promptly put him in a group show. His first solo show exhibition sold out. On the eve of his upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery in London, the young Canadian artist, known primarily for irreverent watercolors of his peers and family from that first show--which included works like "Untitled (Sto & Nick in Pub)," and "Untitled (S, Matt, Lars with Girl)"--gets more serious, and more directly autobiographical. These larger-than-life pastels from family studio photographs, two full groups including his parents and several portraits of Gardner and his brothers at varying ages, are more intensely realistic, more detailed, and conversely, as they scroll back in time, more sophisticated than anything Gardner has shown before.